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These are the directors that will helm Game of Thrones’ seventh season

Only four names instead of five

Jon Snow

Each Game of Thrones season has an episode or two — usually the ninth episode and one other — that are remarkably well directed. The first season’s ninth episode, which featured the decapitation of Ned Stark, for example, or this most recent season’s episode "Home" which brought Jon Snow back to life.

With the sixth season done, HBO has already started looking forward to the next one, and today announced the directors who would helm each episode. It’s interesting to note, that there are only four directors listed instead of the usual five. Usually, each director gets two episodes in a season, and if HBO keeps the same formula, that means there will only be eight episodes this season. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have already said they want the final two seasons to have fewer episodes, and this definitely hints that HBO is on board with that creative decision.

Some of the names will be familiar to diehard fans of the series, including Alan Taylor and Jeremy Podeswa, who received an Emmy nomination for his work on the series last year. The other two names may not be as well known, but Mark Mylod has worked on Game of Thrones before while Matt Shakman is completely new to the show. HBO didn’t specify who would be directing the premiere, finale or the all too important ninth episode, but those details won’t come to light until closer to the seventh season premiere, which will most likely occur in April.

Here’s a better breakdown of each director and what they’ve worked on, both in regards to Game of Thrones and outside of it.

Alan Taylor: An HBO veteran, Taylor has made a name for himself on shows like The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie and Bored To Death and on films like Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys. He’s directed six episodes of Game of Thrones since the show first debuted, including "Baelor," or the episode in which Ned Stark is executed. The seventh season marks his first return to the series since 2012.

Jeremy Podeswa: Podeswa recently earned an Emmy nomination for his work on "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," the fifth season episode in which Ramsay viciously attacked and raped Sansa on their wedding night. He’s directed a total of four episodes and has worked on other series including True Detective, Ray Donovan, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story.

Mark Mylod: Like Podeswa, Mylod has directed four Game of Thrones episodes, including this season’s "The Broken Man," which re-introduced The Hound. Mylod is perhaps best known for his work on Showtime’s Shameless, and has also worked on Entourage, The Affair and recently helmed the pilot episode of Fox’s The Minority Report.

Matt Shakman: Shakman is the only director who hasn’t worked on the series before, but he’s no stranger to television. He’s directed almost 40 episodes of FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and has worked on The Good Wife, You’re The Worst and Revenge.

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